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alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Baltimore, Maryland
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alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Every year, I drive from central Mass back to Maryland by way of 84 to 684 to the Tappan Zee Bridge and then the Garden State Parkway. Every year, 84 southwest-bound is a HUGE PITA. If you were a Conn. person in the know, how would YOU get from Sturbridge to the TZ Bridge?? I am sure 95 is worse so maybe the only answer is if I'm going this way, I have to suffer on 84. This is always on a weekday in the middle of the day. Thanks for any suggestions!

conn
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1. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Check out 84 to I-91 south to Rt15 (prkway) south to I-684 (north or west?) to Tappan Zee.Do mappit to compare mileage.

Baltimore, Maryland
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2. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Is the Merritt parkway likely to be better on a weekday morning than 84? that route would work if 91 isn't congested.

Enfield, Connecticut
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3. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

I used to travel MA to MD frequently and traveled all the roads. You can take 84 to 91S to Route 15. This is the White Cross Parkway, changes to Merritt Parkway, and then to the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York (same road). There will be an exit for 287 (the same 287 you would end up on if you came down 84/684/287/87). Follow the signs to the Tappan Zee.

When you are coming back look for the Hutchinson River Parkway and follow the sign to Route 15. It's a little confusing finding the route in this direction.

No trucks on Merritt, pretty road, hilly and dark at night. I believe there is a toll in one of the directions on 287.

You can also take 91S to 95S in New Haven. Take 95 to MD via George Washington Bridge (don't like it either but I would change my itinerary to stay alert and by reading the traffic). You can also get on 287 from 95. Get a good map.

Enfield, Connecticut
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4. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

"Is the Merritt parkway likely to be better on a weekday morning than 84? that route would work if 91 isn't congested."

It depends on what time you leave. Rush hour is not fun, but you would run into it in Hartford no matter if you took 84 or 91. But once you are out of Hartford 91 opens up. There can be traffic on Merritt too around New Haven (Route 15 parallels 95), you may want to stay in the left hand lane coming up on exits. Also, I do not know about construction (if there is any, I haven't travelled it in a year).

Oh, my error, it is the Wilbur Cross Pkwy off 91 (Route 15). I said it was the White Cross Pkwy, before it changes to the Merritt Parkway.

conn
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5. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Weekday mornings until 6-9 am are bad RT15 south bound, you originally mentioned midday 10am -3pm which is generally good, though there is always a chance of construction.Also note going northbound RT15 on the evening weekdays 4pm-7pm is also bad.I-91 south in the am is generally good.Most traffic travels north into Hartford.

Edited: 21 December 2011, 21:33
Baltimore, Maryland
7 posts
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6. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Thanks - we would be coming past Hartford about 11am. I guess there must be some way to find out if there's construction on the Merritt Parkway online, I'll look around.

conn
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7. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Generally the construction is in the evening and at night, midday should be ok.

Connecticut
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8. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

Depending on your timing, cutting through NYC is much faster than TPZ bridge. Take the hutch to cross county to west river parkway. If you hit it when there are no delays, it shaves 30 min off your trip. You can take the turnpike in NJ all the way to Del.

NY, NY
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9. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

The general route suggestion of taking 91 to 15 is good. And skipping the Tappan Zee is a good idea. A couple minor notes. 15 is the Wilbur Cross Pkwy and becomes the Merritt, and runs into the Hutchinson River Pkwy where 684 and the Cross Westchester meet. You continue on the Hutch to the Cross County, which you take until it runs into the Saw Mill River, which you take south to the Henry Hudson (9A) to the GW Bridge. I suggest that you to avoid other routes to the GW, such as the Cross Bronx (95), or the Major Deegan (87) to 95.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: alternative to 84 from Mass to NY?

One more thought when making this choice, which I have had to do several times a month for the past twenty years.... Merritt or 95 to GWB (direct and if not a mess on the Cross Bronx or GWB much faster,) or Tappan Zee, which I then take to the Palisades Parkway a couple of exits after the bridge and huge mall, etc.... (Jersey version of the Merritt, roadwise, but generally without much traffic) into Fort Lee and onto NJ Turnpike.

Listen to 1010 WINS on your AM radio. They give traffic reports on the "ones"... (9:01, 9:11, etc,) and every one wraps up with a bridge and tunnel report. I can't tell you how many times they will suddenly announce a driver-reported jam (which they then verify) and get it on the air before my GPS or anything else has gotten wind of it. With a devoted following of cabbies and limo/commercial drivers, information is shared rapidly and generally quite accurately. It allows travel corrections before you have to make a decision. Not always perfect, but usually good.